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National Costumes of the Mongolian People's Republic Portfolio

Identifier: 01-exws_nationalCustomesMongolia

Scope and Contents

The collection includes 100 sheets of drawings made by U. Yadamsuren during his travels across the Mongolian country in the nineteen-fifties. The drawings include traditional summer and winter costumes and accessories from the following Mongolian national groups: Khalka, Buryat, Dorbet, Torgut, Barga, Dariganga, Uzumchin, Bayit, Uryankhaits, Khoton, and Mingat. Included with the set of drawings is a 24 page pamphlet which describes the customes and the history behind the different styles.


  • Publication: 1967


Biographical / Historical

Urjingiin Yadamsuren (1905-1987) was one of Mongolia's favored portrait artists who later helped create the neotraditional Mongol Zurag style.

He was born in Erdene Zasag banner (modern Tumendelger Sum, Eastern) to an unwed mother. Yadamsuren learned to wood carving from his maternal grandfather, Urjin. In 1918 he began assisting Urjin's monk brother, Choidashi, in block-printing scriptures. In 1930, Yadamsuren joined the "Mongolian Revolutional Youth League" and migrated to Ulaanbaatar, where he became a typesetter. While attending Moscow's Communist University of the Toilers of the East in 1934 he began painting, and in 1939 he entered the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow.

From his return to Mongolia in 1942, he became a professional painting. Until the late 1950s Yadamsuren painted revolutional topics with oil paints in a European style. Well-known works included portraits of Marshal Choibalsang (1941) and of General Sukhebaatur (1942). He was a stage artist for the file Tosgtu Taiji (1945). In the 1950s, he also began collectiong and drawing traditional artifacts, traveling throughout Mongolia to find good specimens. In 1958 Yadamsuren exhibited Old Fiddler (OWgon khuurch) which became one of Mongolia's most frequently reproduced paintings.

Source: Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire by Christopher Pratt Atwood (1964-). 2004. Available on the Internet Archive.


100 Sheets

Language of Materials





Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in 2023 from The Golden Legend, Inc. (Los Angeles, California).

Physical Description

Each drawing measures 13.5 x 10 inches and is housed in a green folding case, slightly worn.

National Costumes of the Mongolian People's Republic Portfolio Collection finding aid
In Progress
Stephanie Chapman
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Special Collections Repository

Western Michigan University Libraries, Special Collections
Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490